Enigma Machine and Its U-boat Codes - U-110 IN TROUBLE

U-110 IN TROUBLE (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Famous People Social Studies World War II World History

U-110 was captured by the British in 1941. The German submarine contained an Enigma machine and a code book in use at the time. Both were indispensably important to the deciphering work underway at Bletchley Park, in Britain.  This photo—depicting U-110—is from C.B.  4051 (23), an investigation into  "U 110," including “Interrogation of Survivors.”


Sometimes the U-boats would send their deadly torpedoes but remain undetected themselves. If U-110's periscope had not given away its position, that might have happened for Lemp and his crew. But the battle on May 9, 1941 ultimately belonged to the Royal Navy, despite the loss of three convoy ships.

After a lookout on HMS Aubretia saw U-110's periscope, she raced toward the spot where her crew dropped depth charges. Thinking the first batch missed, Aubretia's men dropped more charges. U-110 was struck but not destroyed. Even so, some of her crew died - just like so many other WWII submarine sailors.

U-110 was now out of control. She had sustained considerable damage: broken vital gauges; ruptured fuel tanks; electrical system failures; and buoyancy tank problems. She shot to the surface, not far off Bulldog's starboard bow.

Turning to ram U-110 with one other ship in the convoy, Captain Baker-Creswell suddenly changed his mind. Instead of ramming the crippled sub, why not board her?

Having just experienced a harrowing ride to the surface, the crew of U-110 poured out of the hatch. (Follow this link to a map depicting the precise location of their capture: 60N, 33W.)

Under fire from Bulldog and the other ships (see page 3 of the June 1941 Greenock Report), including HMS Broadway, they could not man their deck gun. Some jumped, while others fell into the sea, their commander Lemp among them.

Baker-Creswell ordered his boarding party to see what could be found aboard U-110. He placed a 20-year-old sub-lieutenant, David Balme, in charge.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jan 30, 2016

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"U-110 IN TROUBLE" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 01, 2001. Jan 25, 2020.
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